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Open Table -no res when restaurant had room

Tried to make a reservation on Open Table for late December at a restaurant on their list- kept getting the message that no availability. I couldn't believe it since it is more than three weeks away. Called the restaurant- got the res. They said it was because it was for a large group and they don't do large reservations through open table. Didn't know this before- has anyone else had this exprience??

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  1. opentable usually states it if that is the case.

    Also, some restaurants only allows a certain percentage of tables to be booked through opentable.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JoLi

      I wonder if that's just to avoid Opentable fees.
      Any idea what they charge?

      1. re: RicRios

        There are set up fees and monthly fees, but I don't remember how much. In addition, there is a fee for each seated person who booked through opentable. Last I heard it was $1 per person.

        I doubt that places would keep seats due to the fees (though you never know for sure); usu. they do so to keep some control over the room. Big parties are a big deal, they require lots of planning around, so most places want/need to book them with a person. I never understood, though, why opentable/the resto using it doesn't have a standard response when people try to book larger parties, something like "opentable can't book parties of 6 or more for this restaurant; please call to make ressies for large parties."

        also, I have worked in more than one place where no one in the restaurant understood all of the capabilities of opentable. it's not unlikely that some of these places would open up more tables if they knew that they were holding them back. I know it may sound absurd, but I've seen it.

        1. re: nc213

          I was told by the owner of Nopa that opentable costs (if I remember correctly) 40,000 a year.

          1. re: Missmoo

            Missmoo..r u saying that is what a restaurant pays OT for the reservation service? Good grief!

            1. re: HillJ

              This probably deserves a separate thread.
              Let's give it a try:
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/347543

    2. Yes, I have. I don't know the cut off amount of people, but I have tried to get a reservation for 10, and it was made clear that this amount was too much for an Open Table reservation. Called, no problem.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jesdamala

        The cut off amount really depends on the restaurant, they are the ones that set the limits.

      2. The key appears to be that opentable does not give you access to the restaurants true availability -- just what they have set it to be. Meaning, even though it may state that there is nothing available at your desired time, this may not be the actual case. If you can't get the desired reservation from opentable, it never hurts to make a quick phone call.

        There's a restaurant that only has 6pm and 9pm reservations available. I thought they had 2 nightly seatings, but come to find out, they accept reservations at all times, just not through opentable.

        1. We have found that large groups, special occasion dates (Mother's Day, Valentine's Day) and even planning TOO far ahead will result in no res avail on Open Table.

          We had this exp making res for a french restaurant on the Westside for Father's Day (family in from CA, wanted something firm)and Sunday brunch (at Sara Beth's) yet calling directly or even in the case of the breakfast just taking a chance and walking in - no problemo!

          1. It's like anything else. When online air or concert tickets are "sold out," it doesn't mean every seat available is no longer available, it means, you're not getting a ticket through that particular resevation system.